I’ve heard the phrase “being one with yourself” a couple of times, but it’s hard for me to think about what that necessarily means. How can you really separate what you are from the forces that the world is putting on you?
One way I like to think about this, is to think about it in terms of the force I am applying to the world. I have a finite amount of energy that I have to choose to use every day, and whatever that ends up being, that energy creates a reaction. And part of the way that we tend to define things, is by what they do. I define a can opener as a utensil that I can use to open my cans or a lamp as a device I can turn off and on to give me a significant amount of light. In the same way, I can start to understand who it is that I am being.
However, humans are a little trickier than lamps. Because we also have who we are now in this moment and who we actually are. Which sounds kooky, I know, but here’s the thing. How many times have you had an immediate reaction or thought to something, and immediately felt some sense that it wasn’t right or that we shouldn’t have said/thought that? We all have conditioned reactions at the ready, but many times, those reactions don’t reflect the reality of who we are.
Being able to reflect on those moments and catch what is conditioning and what is us is so important. It fosters the ability to think critically and analytically about who you are as a person and what is right for you, but a lot of the time our world is so loud and rapid, we don’t have the space to reflect. Doing yoga, is about taking that space and getting closer to yourself and your body.
When I began at Sanctuary, the first thing I realized, was that I didn’t know my own body. I didn’t listen to my body. All of a sudden, I was aware of aches I didn’t know existed and was able to take care of myself in a more intentional way. I slowly learned to flow with my body and become one with my physical form. Something, that I am still not always able to do.
Then, I became aware of my emotional body. How strange is it that before yoga I would live my life unaware of emotions that now seem so present? I allowed myself to be uncaring of what I was feeling. Moving with intention and mindfulness allowed me to not control my emotions, but fully process and regulate them. Finally I could say, ‘oh this is unpleasant’ or ‘this is pleasant’ and then ask myself why.
A big part of yoga is about making a home within yourself that you fully reside in. Becoming mindful allows you to have agency over who you are now, so that you can become more of who you truly are. Many of us are not living a life that is truly ours. We do the things we think we are meant to do. We react the way we have been taught to react. But how many of use can say we are truly one with our self?